Monday, January 4, 2010

The Long Snow Haul

Few people know of the story of Lieutenant Bronwyn, who crossed 11,000 miles in a military grade Snow Vee; that is, a Hum Vee that’s been fitted with tracks instead of tires enabling it to move over snow.

In 1997, Lt. Danny Bronwyn along with a First Officer of the U.S. Army were given permission by the Belarus, Russian and Canadian governments to test-drive a government issued Snow Vee from Belarus, though Northern Russia, moved on a barge to a western part of Alaska, across Canada and into upstate New York.

This was to be a test of the Snow Vee’s endurance, and also meant to see how long soldiers could withstand a drive though snow and difficult terrain. 

Lt. Bronwyn and his First Officer traveled through rugged terrain and thick forests covered with seemingly impenetrable snow.  They also cruised along the ice-flats of the Northern Russian territories.

They drove day and night, taking turns, and stopping at U.S. stations along the way for re-supplying and hygiene needs.  But most of the time, the wilderness was their toilet and their source of water.

After crossing Alaska, they moved into what would be the most difficult part of their trip; crossing the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  They stayed on a Northerly route, which made things a bit easier, but on three occasions, they had to backtrack to find better passes for their Snow Vee.

The trip took ten months and cost over $200,000.  The Snow Vee never broke down, and the expedition gave the U.S. Army valuable information about what was needed for the Snow Vee to be a viable vehicle.

 The actual Snow Vee that made the enormous trek